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EU seeks to move on neonicotinoids

The EU Commission is suggesting EU-wide restrictions on some uses of neonicotinoid insecticides on crops attractive to bees such as rapeseed. The move follows the publication of an assessment by the EU’s food safety authority (EFSA) on Jan 16 that found bees faced “a number of risks” from insecticide seed treatments. EFSA’s findings highlighted “acute” risks for honey bees from some uses of clothianidin and imidacloprid on flowering crops that are attractive to bees for pollen &/or nectar such as oil seed rape. A number of countries including France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, already put restrictions in place on some uses of neonicotinoids and the EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said the Commission would call for “harmonised and legally binding measures”. He was quick to rule out the possibility of a total ban, which “would not be justified”, so the proposals are unlikely to cover neonicotinoid uses on crops less attractive to bees such as potatoes, sugar beet and wheat. Several member states supported the call, but the UK called for more field research, noting that its own research was pending.

 

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